INTERNATIONAL WOMAN’S DAY - INDUSTRIAL PHOTOGRAPHY OF WOMEN WORKING.
Recognising that women make an equal contribution to all industry sectors.
Not wanting to roll out the ‘token’ woman although it did used to be the case in some industries, where a company wanted to show how they were cool and hip because they employed ‘a’ woman in a perhaps not a traditional roll.
It is now fair to say that when I am told that we are photographing an engineer in QC or in an energy plant I never know if the model will be male of female.
And that is the way it should be!
PS: A big shout out to business’ employing and running apprentice schemes and having women in all areas of engineering.
#balanceforbetter #iwd2019 #photographers #construction #industrial #engineering #offshore #naw2019 #naw19 #Intenationalwomensday
The importance of apprentices and apprenticeship schemes to future economic success. #naw19 #naw
As an industrial photographer I travel and get to photograph many different locations, on many construction, engineering, manufacturing and workplaces the content I shoot shows a skilled workforce engaged in all types of tasks. Getting the image that delivers the story..people - skills - investment - safety can be a challange at times.
I review my photography and website regularly and critically, and one thing is apparent, the age of the ‘models’ in the images.
Often a business will have lined up thier best and brightest for the photoshoot, a wealth of knowledge about the work in hand and an experienced eye on the safety issues and making sure we are photographing content that shows best practice.
Most of the ‘models’ I see have a few years under thier belts..which is great for images as it shows experience, knowledge and integrity through their facial expressions..and a few road miles adds a little character.
HOWEVER..where are all the young faces..the ‘young un’ ‘junior’ ‘the lad’ ‘the lass’ ‘bag carrier’ ‘tea maker’..or in photography land ‘voice activated light stand’…OK the terms are probibly non PC, but I’m sure you get the drift.
wc March 4th, 2019 is National Apprentice Week, it cannot be stated enough that the future workforce is going to pay for all us old people..it’s a point of view..but importantly we (business community) have a massive skills shortage. Paricularly in the engineering, costruction and manufacturing sectors..in turn those jobs securing finance, adminstration, material supply, energy, transport, research..the list is endless.
I know there are many will think that the investment they make in starting an apprentice scheme is just training a skilled workforce to leave and go somewhere else, NO NO NO, it’s bigger than that, OK they leave..but when you advertise for experienced welders, turners, electricians etc..where do you think they are going to come from.
You might loose a few..but you will gain..may be from someone else’s scheme..perhapes someone who will bring with them new learning, a different way to improve your business.
The big picture is the skills shortage, those business that are making a choice to run apprenticship schemes are investing in their future success and growth.
As an industrial photographer I am looking forward to seeing the average age of the people in my photographs start to reduce..now..is there someone ypung to carry this heavy bag.
Oil Gas Industrial Photographers.
Photography for investor communications worldwide.
In the quiet calm environment of an oil refinery control room there is the almost gentle in-audible voices of engineers and process techniciancians optimizing flows, temperatures and storage from the refining process.
It’s a serious business, small adjustments to keep the process operation at it’s peak efficiency.just think one or two a cents multiplied by millions would hit the bottom line very hard. However the main and most important role these control room operatives perform is safety, keeping the whole process of high temperatures and pressures mixed with a combustable product require constant vigilance.
So setting up to take photography of people working needs a little planning, understanding and the minimum of disruption. Get the right viewpoint first then set the lighting.but warn everyone in advance you are using electronic flash.sudden sparks of bright light don’t go down well in this environment.then wait.
Wait for breaks in the activity to get a few moments to engage with the ‘models’, get a few frames shot and wait again as they attend to a request from a process worker over the radio out on the refinery to switch a valve.then have it confirmed.watch the screens to set the changes.confirm that the process is with range.then grab a few more variations on the images shot.
Control rooms like these be they on or offshore, oil, petrochemical, energy production and infact any place where remote instrumentation is used are all screens and keyboards. If you think about it.mostly you only see the backs of the operatives facing the screens.not the best set up to see the faces of the people.
Getting just the right viewpoint and guiding the guys into a natural position that tells the story is a bit of an art, getting a natural look to the people and showing the working environment takes a bit of time.being photographed is not the most natural of things, but creating a natural looking image that tells the story is the reward for the planning and work.
I should say from the outset that without the willingness and good will to suffer the photographer taking hundreds of pictures that all look the same (it’s the smallest of changes that make an image come together) I could not produce image content that represents the business I’m shooting for, thank you to everyone who has stood in an uncomfortable position, sat unnaturally close to a screen.and their co-workers..had thier tidy desks made photographer tidy..and still offered me a coffee or water. Thank you.
Wind Turbine industrial photography.
Photographer of offshore wind turbine construction & testing.
Until you stand close-up to an offshore wind turbine blade it’s hard to really appreciate just how big they really are.
Delivered to the test facility this 88 meter blade fills the length of the building, now the industry is looking at blade lengths of 100+ meters.
Offshore wind energy is beating the trend for the speed of technical development and improvements in efficiencies.
Construction Industry Photographers.
Find a very small space, fill with pipes heat exchangers, valves & pumps add an engineer, client, lighting equipment..and a photographer, then photograph.
Shooting M&E can be a challenge, photography in very small spaces is not just trying to ‘get everything in’ but to show an image that has clarity and some sense of depth.
Photographing the services that keep buildings working is either done during construction phase or as part of a re-fit or upgrade, either way job one on the list when getting to a location is the ‘tidy up’. I will often ask for the location to be tidied last thing day before the shoot..it gives the airborne dust time to settle and clear, brushing the floors when you are setting for the shoot just fills the air making for less contrast in the image..fills the camera and lenses..and me.
Getting a viewpoint can be a challenge, often there will be only one view that works or is the only place you can set the camera. Then adding lighting, using a technique of mixing both flash and light painting illumination can be used to highlight and add contrast and separation to each of the elements in the photograph.
Lens selection is also a consideration, not just a case of picking the widest shortest focal length but considering how the perspective can be made less extreme by image stiching with a slightly longer focal length lens.
There’s just something really nice about holding and turning the pages of a quality printed book, EDF’s Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Project, Northumberland has feaured several industry firsts and feature innovations that have favoured worldwide interest.
I am particualrly pleased with how the project team worked with me to build a portfolio of image collateral that is being widely used, and culminating in the comissioning of a project book.
The book features images of all key landmarks in the project and is a good insight into the scale and timeline for the whole delivery.
Link to full book click.
"She's the girl that makes the thing that drills the hole that holds the spring that drives the rod that turns the knob that works the thing-ummy-bob"
The Gracie Fields 1942 song and used recently by merchant services provider Square. pretty much describes how complicated modern plant control can be, "the-thing-ummy-bob" could easily be used to describe all the wheels, valves, switches..even the graphical representations displayed on large screen displays in control rooms across the world.
I have photographed epically large industrial complexes with state of the art automation..the kind of installations that everyone uses bicycles to get around..and there only being 2 people on shift to control it all. There's no arguing that the investment in making a safe, efficient, cleaner and a more productive plant is good news all around, but often there's no substitute for 'hands on' intervention.
It might just be one wheel attached to a valve amongst hundreds or even thousands that routes steam or product flow to a process or tank, but knowing just where to find that one valve when the screen graphic shows an adjustment or isolation is required come down to the mk.1 opertive.
The skill required just to turn a valve takes training, experience and knowledge, being able to recognise from a graphic on screen to the physical control "somewhere out there" only comes with 'hands on' experience..it's part of the whole package.
Industrial photographers do get to see a lot of thing-ummy-bob's, clients ask "we want to see people" ..not as easy as it sound's when there's so few around and they are all busy being productive, often this means seeing a potential image and having to return to the same spot with the 'model' and even then only getting 2-3 minutes before they are needed somewhere else.
It's too easy to forget that industrial photography is not the most important thing -as an industrial photographer frustratingly it is to me (not that I take my work personaly…much!!)…that's where understanding your part in the grand scheme is important..my 'thing-ummy-bob' is just a small part of the process, it just needs planning and organisation to fit into the final product.
Long summer days mean late nights.
Long summer days can be productive if you need sunshine and skies..but for dusk and night photography the days only mean very late finishes and early starts.
Getting just the right balance of darkening sky and the working lights influencing the scene can be a short window of opportunity. The 'Golden hour'..and 'Blue hour' are often used to describe the changing light from day to night. Getting just the right time to get a night sky and yet still have enought light to contrast the structure against the sky to retain it's shape and form but still dark enough to let the working lights on the building or structure to create the magical pools of light is more an art of observation than science.
Spring and Autumn are often a great time for dramatic skies full of colour as the low sun helps the high level clouds to 'catch fire' but not everyone has time to wait for just the right sunset/sunrise so in the meanwhile it's sleep depravation time.
Oil and Gas Photographers.
Working in an explosive environment, I do like to have structure and order in my images..it adds to a visual composition that adds clarity to a photo - using people as scale and points of colour to draw the viewer into the photo.
Sometimes in complicated environments where there is a lot going on visually adding carefully positioned people into the image can add a controlled 'quite' moment in the chaos to help the viewer see and understand the context of the whole environment.
I was asked to describe my work recently and came to the opinion that my 'style' is 'classic industrial'..in so far as it's a style of imagery that shows the thing being photographed as recognisable and using it's own form to create a visual image that tells the story.
Safety is paramount, all my camera and lighting kit is battery powered..and to the best of my knowledge there are no usable to the image quality and versatility required intrinsically safe housings for the camera and variety of lenses. So under permit working it's always a 'hot works' permit on the basis of there could be a source of ignition from the camera or battery with everyone wearing a gas detector to monitor the changing conditions… the regular 'chirp' of the detector always ever present.
My ambition at 18 was to 'see the world..at someone else's expence'..I've been reasonably successful at achieving that goal, although there are many places I would still like to see.
..I also wanted to have made images for an international bank, an Oil Gas Energy company, aerospace and an international minerals mining company…all good there then.
The down side of photography in international locations is the travel..or at least the stress of "airline baggage roulette". Any photographer who travels will always keep their cameras, lenses etc with them at all times - investing in 'carry on compliant' roller cases from companies like ThinkTank..who do really great bags for photographers. I'm pretty sure most of us photographers bend the weight and size rules a little to keep our primary kit close.
However traveling with lights, stands, tripods, chargers, spare batteries, gels, triggers, tape, reflectors, soft boxes and those essential clips and claps will need to say good bye to them at check-in on thier journey to the aircraft hold..or could just as well be a black hole in space.
It causes anxiety when we loose sight of the hard plastic Peli cases - wondering if we will see them ever again, it's not so bad if the flight is a single hop, but adding connections is a whole world of worry.
So..yes the airline lost my light kit case and tripod/chargers bag..which also all my clothes and personal care 'man bag', Oh yes and my work boots/PPE etc it's the moment when you are the last person at the belt at luggage reclaim you worry..but still hope..only then the belt stops and you are facing the empty conveyor wondering what next.
So you head over to lost luggage to see whats what and in your best school boy Latvian (I have no Latvian!) enquire.."yes sir..they were delayed due to the short transfere time" (the connectiing flight was an hour delayed!) "we will possibly get then on the last flight in tonight (01.00) -then tomorrow courier to you on an overnight to your address"
Point 1 - I need them this afternoon to start the photoshoot..Point 2 - I am traveling to several locations as yet unknown, with this realisation and some paperwork that you cannot read in your hand you leave the airport to find your driver..who at this point has rang his office several times to see if I have made contact or am being detained for transporting lithium batteries the size of house bricks by aircraft (just for the record..all my kit complies to the rules and regulations set out by the TSA and CAA with regard to power capacity, size and airworthiness - I have the certificate of testing!)
So..no kit and no clean clothes..
The client was great, they made some calls..arranged for the driver (cheers Maxims) with a copy of my flight details, boarding card and Passport to return to the airport at 02.00 to collect and drive 150klms to deliver the kit so I could sart shooting the next day..also very appreciative to have my clothes and work boots.
It still causes me concern that one day I'll never see the bags again..unless it's on one of those "airport salvage container wars" programmes where the bags are auctioned off, and how to overcome the problem of no kit and the delay in working. Kit can be hired if you are somewhere near a big city..clothes can be bought..
Aircraft hold roulette..the game you cannot win.
Industrial & Advertising Photographers UAE
Photography for Industry, Investment, Banking by UK based International Industrial photographers.
40 degree's & 70% humidity…not the easiest conditions to work in.
The UAE can get hot as the we start getting into the summer, with temps soon hitting 50 degree's C it can be imposible to work outside, in fact when the temps get to a level it is goverment mandated that you don't work outside for the three hours at midday, unless it is of course a safety issue or cannot otherwise be re-scheduled.
I have been shooting an exciting commission for a business involved in refining and energy distrubution in the UAE & worldwide, and to say there were challenging days is an understatement, when it's so hot even simple things like seeing through the viewfinder through the stream of perspiration running into your eyes and having powerpacks go into 'thermal protection' mode because the ground is so hot all add's to the fun.
But..it's not about me..I just want to thank all the people who stood for the pictures while their boots were filling up with sweat..helped to carry a bag..and every Toyota Hilux pick up with air con.
The only thing anyone will remember from the shoot are the images, not the struggle to get them. The new work will be on the website later in the year once we have visited the other locations worldwide.
Offshore industrial photographers with BOSIET GWO.
UK Industry photography for advertising & corporate assignments.
The sun shines and the wind blows..great for renewable energy production and photography.
Shooting location industrial photography offshore can be a challenging task, not only trying to create images that will tell the story and the client will be pleased with the created content, but the severe limitations of the environment.
Taking as read working safely there is the limited places you can go to get a good shot, if you are on a vessel there's nowhere else to go, yes..you can use a drone to expand the viewpoints but for many activities it could be a distraction to the crew or crane operator during very high pressure and critical activities -often many big lifts are done at night so no 'line of sight' to the drone.
The renewables sector continues to advance at a pace, better efficiencies, improved tech and research are help to move generation towards a carbon neutral energy.
Offshore Photographer - how big can theses blades get?
At what point will the blades for offshore wind turbines become too big to be effficient for the production of renewable energy..and feasible to construct.
With new offshore wind farms in development, and the biggest including the Orsted Hornsea One, when will the scale of resources needed to design and build just get too expensive to justify the ROI.
It's useful as an industrial photographer working in the renewables and offshore sectors to get to see the advances of technology, not just the developments but the early stage research, design, test and manufacture of many of the componants. The biggest to date 88.4m XL blade from GErenewables LM Wind will soon be surpassed by a 100m blade, and the generators now being upgraded to 8.8mw will improve the ROI.
Different methods of fixing or even floating the structures in offshore environments using gravity or suction bases is less invasive during construction than piling into the sea bed - using air/bubble curtains to reduce impact to the marine wild life.
Photography of offshore renewables certainly gets you in close proximity to the work, being so close you stand in awe of the sheer scale of the componants, how small the people are and what will be the next jump in development.
Photographers offshore: Jack Up barges. GMS Evolution GMS Endeavour.
Industrial & Advertising Photographers offshore.
I love my work..well..still love creating interesting image content that gets noticed.
This image is of two offshore jack up barges that will be home for the workers construction the new Hornsea One wind farm, when your job site is 120klm offshore traveling is not realy practical. The GMS Endeavour and Evolution will act as accommodation bases during the construction of the turbines and sub-stations.
The image was not commissioned, I saw this on my way home from another renewables shoot and apart from wanting a closer look thought there was potential for an image. The 'ship in the sky' certainly raised (groan!!) some interest in the local with many people enjoying the unseasonably warm day to visit the area to take in the spectical.
I shared the image on my LinkedIn network, within 5 days over 12,000 views were recorded and climbing.
Having made regular posts on Linked In to date this has had the most views, validation that a great image can drive viewers and traffic to your business, put that into context..my own network is just over 700 carefully people targeted people that I think would have in interest in my type and style of photography, and based upon stats for direct marketing we are way ahead of the curve for converting content into enquiries.
But that asides its's the images that count..it's the initial point that a potential customer or stakeholder will pause instead of moving onto the next post..tha pause is where you can connect.
EDF to invest $8 billion in battery storage capacity.
Industrial photographers in Renewable Energy battery storage.
Photography of people in industrial location. Commercial, Advertising Photography.
Next time you complain about no charge on your mobile phone just think what happens if there was no electicity left to switch on the TV, lights or your computer.
Think of the electricty demand peak events such as commercial breaks in the X factor finals or the forthcoming royal wedding, those peak demands on generation planning require many assets to be brought on line just at the right moment, those assets needing to be running at full power before switching in the generators to produce the electricity.
To be able to draw down at a milliseconds notice enough electricity to bridge the gap between demand and generation means generation resources can be used more efficiently, and store power produced by renewable sources.
EDF have announced an $8 billion (£7 billion) investment over the next 2 decades in battery storage capacity, having already commissioned and brought online a 49MW facility they are continuing to move towards reduced carbon eneregy production.
How do you choose only nine images, if you have looked at the portfolio pages on this website the issue seems to be too many rather than too few. I'm still looking at choosing a much smaller number of images to show my industrial photography, but am having separtion issues about reducing content.
I ask myself..often..is it enough just to show a few images that show the type of work you do, or will visitors only assume that is all you can do..if you show a picture of an oil refinery can viewers make the visual jump to a paint factory.
As an industrial photographer the locations we work in can be very diverse but still require the same level of creativity and skill to achieve great loooking images. Then add into the mix shooting to brand image guides and also creative post production, all making the body of work more diverse and creatively different.
I understand about creating a body of work on a single subject but if that is what you show will viewers ony think that is all you can produce. Perhaps it's time to hand this off to a picture editor or photo rep to decide, perhaps just too near the subject to understand the core of my own photography.
Fundamentals of Mobile Heavy Equipment.
Authors: Gus Wright Owen C. Duffy. Scott A. Heard CDX Learning Systems.
Photo: Chris Henderson.
If you are starting out on your career as a plant fitter, mechanic or engineer this book could be one of the first texts you will study on your career path, the knowledge contents passed down to the next new apprentice by an old hand explaining how 1kg of hydraulic force can become 10kg over a wider surface area, a library of terms, maintenance procedures and safety critical systems to learn and understand before being let loose on machines that are worth $$$$$$ and down time costs even more to production schedules.
The photograph was originally taken as test image to show how with one single flashlight a large object could be photographed and lit to studio quality in a less than perfect location. (Credit: Big thanks to Glynn Roberts -site manager at the location for taking the time to set up the CAT 777D truck)
It's a cool concept to ponder on the number of students starting out on their careers that will see this book cover, may be even keeping someone inspired to achieve their goals.
Yes it's just photography, and have a lot of work published over the years but educational books have a long shelf life, are sold, re-sold, passed on and kept as reference for a whole career..and if any one else like me enjoys a good technical manual make for a good read.
If just one person chooses this career path and the pivotal decision was inspired by the image I will be a very happy photographer knowing to have had such a direct influence for the good on someone. (If that's you..I hope you have a career that brings as much reward and satisfaction as I have realised from being an industrial photographer)
Using photography blurs, light leaks, colour tone in Photoshop retouching to create atmosphere in location photography.
Creating the image can just be the start of getting the photography to the client or designer, many international companies have over time developed their brand standards or visual language on how they want to show their business.
Although much can be done in post production, shooting the original content with the purpose of using post production photoshop adjustments will formulate the approach and compositions the photographer is aiming for.
The creative photoshop work is about creating a mood or feeling, working within a tonal or colour palette and engaging the viewer into the conversation. Using tone, colour and areas of light leaks and selective focus the photographer can draw the viewer into the parts of the image is the message.
Using creative post production techniques and photoshop to create the final image or library of images helps to identify your image style - making your media more quickly recognisable..giving your images a personality that reflects your business' values and culture.
It's the whole package - the creation of the original photography on location working with post production Photoshop and Lightroom production techniques.
Site safety inductions.
Throughout the course of a year it is fair to say that I get many safety inductions and briefings, as a contractor that in most cases goes to each site or location only a few times during the course of a project I am often going to a new location every week.
I have had my fair share of 'site welfare' use over the years..and every cup of coffee is always accepted with good heart and thanks. Some work sites are only temporary for the duration of a particular operation - these tend to have a smaller compliment of crews typically 10 -20 persons.
So by way of' thanks for the coffee' I will sometimes bring a 'something' for the site mess, upon presenting the sweet treats to the project manager "ah it's coffee time..come down and meet the team..you can do a tool box talk"
I was introduced and asked to talk about my gift - it was great opportunity meet everyone and very brief tell the story of the message on the boxes, I really wanted to let everyone know that safety was the number one priority and thank them in advance for looking out for me.
The picture on the boxes is my one family - it's a few years old now but just reminds us all of what we would miss if we did not return home from work.